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Adaptive control

Adaptive control
-astrom and witten mark

Topics covered

What is adaptive control? (Chap 1)

Deterministic self tuning regulators (chap 3)
Model reference adaptive systems (chap 5)
Properties of adaptive systems (chap 6)
Auto tuning (chap 8)
Gain scheduling (chap 9)
Robust and self oscillating systems (chap 10)
Practical issues and implementation (chap

to adapt means to change a
behavior to conform to new
An adaptive controller
a controller that can modify its
behavior in response to the changes
in dynamics of the processes and the
disturbances acting on the process.

An adaptive controller
a controller with adjustable parameters
and a mechanism for adjusting the
The parameters are adjusted to
compensate for the changes in dynamics
of the plant and the disturbances acting
on the plant.
The controller becomes nonlinear because
of the parameter adjustment mechanism

A block diagram of the

adaptive controller

An adaptive control system can be
thought of as having two loops.
One loop is a normal feedback with the
process and the controller.
The other loop is the parameter
adjustment loop.
The parameter adjustment loop is
usually slower than the normal
feedback loop.

Circumstances under which adaptive

control can be preferred:
it is convenient to control a plant with the
available conventional PID controllers.
Some circumstances under which the
adaptive controllers can perform better
than the conventional PID controllers are:
Change in plant transfer function due to
variations in the environment, the size and
properties of the raw materials, wear &
tear of certain components.
Stochastic disturbances (disturbances
whose characteristics/behavior are
unpredictable )

Change in nature of inputs
Propagation of disturbances along a
chain of unit processes
Nonlinear behavior as in case of complex
chemical or biochemical reaction
Appreciable dead time
Unknown parameters, when control
system for new process is

Effects of process
The standard approach to control system
design is
to develop a linear model for the process for
some operating condition and to design a
controller having constant parameters.
A fundamental property is also that feedback
systems are intrinsically insensitive to
modeling errors and disturbances.
The mechanisms causing variation in process
dynamics and its effect on the performance of
control system is studied in the following

Some mechanisms causing

variation in process dynamics

Nonlinear actuators
Flow and speed variations
Flight control
Variation in disturbance

Nonlinear actuators
A very common source of variations is that
actuators, like valves have a nonlinear
the static valve characteristics be
and let

Block diagram of a flow control loop with a PI

controller and a nonlinear valve

Linearizing the system around a
steady state operating point shows
the incremental gain of the valve is
f(u), and hence the loop gain is
proportional to f(u).
The system can perform well at one
operating level and poorly at another

Step responses for PI control of

simple flow loop at different
operating levels

The controller is tuned to give a good
response at low levels of operating
For higher values of operating level,
the closed loop system even
becomes unstable as can be seen in

Other examples
Flow and speed variations tank
Flight Control
Variations in disturbance
characteristics are also discussed for
Ship steering control
Regulation of quality variable in

Adaptive control schemes

Gain scheduling
Model-Reference Adaptive System
Self-Tuning Regulator (STR)
Dual Control

Gain Scheduling
Gain scheduling is an adaptive control
strategy, where the gain of the system
is determined and based on its value
the controller parameters are changed.
This approach is called gain scheduling
the scheme was originally used to
measure the gain and then change, that
is, schedule the controller to compensate
for changes in the process gain.

Block diagram of system with

gain scheduling

The system can be viewed as having
two loops.
an inner loop composed of the process
and the controller
outer loop contains components that
adjust the controller parameters on the
basis of the operating conditions.
regarded as mapping from process
parameters to controller parameters.
It can be implemented as a function or a
table lookup.

The concept of gain scheduling originated in
connection with the development of flight
control systems.
In process control,
the production rate-a scheduling variable,
time constants and time delays are inversely
proportional to production rate.
Gain scheduling is a very useful technique
for reducing the effects of parameter

Advantages and
Parameters can be changed quickly in
response to changes in plant dynamics
very easy to apply
It is an open-loop adaptation scheme, with
no real learning or intelligence
The design required for its implementation
is enormous.

Model Reference
Adaptive System

Used to solve a problem in which the

performance specifications are given
in terms of a reference model.
This model tells how the process
output ideally should respond to the
command signal.

Block diagram of MRAS

composed of two loops.

The inner loop - the process and an
ordinary feedback controller.
The outer loop adjusts the controller
parameters in such a way that the error,
which is the difference between the process
output y and model output ym is small.
The MRAS was originally introduced for
flight control.
In this case, the reference model describes
the desired response of the aircraft to
joystick motions.

The key problem with MRAS is

to determine the adjustment mechanism so
that a stable system, which brings the error to
zero is obtained.
parameter adjustment mechanism, called MIT
rule was used in original MRAS.

e is the error between the plant and model

is the controller parameter.

The quantity
is the sensitivity
derivative of error with respect to the
parameter .
The parameter is the adaptation rate.
It is necessary to make approximation
to obtain the sensitivity derivative.
The MIT rule can be regarded as a
gradient scheme to minimize the
squared error e2.

Self Tuning Regulator

The gain scheduling and MRAS are called
direct methods, because the adjustment
rule tells directly how the controller
parameters should be updated.
A difference scheme is obtained if the
estimates of the process parameters are
updated and the controller parameters
are obtained from the solution of a design
problem using the estimated parameters.

Block Diagram of a STR

composed of two loops.

The inner loop - the process and an
ordinary feedback controller.
The parameters of the controller are
adjusted by the outer loop, which is
composed of a recursive parameter
estimator and a design calculation.

It is sometimes not possible to estimate the

process parameters without introducing probing
control signals or perturbations.
The system may be viewed as an automation of
process modeling and design, in which the
process model and the control design are
updated at each sampling period.
A controller of this construction is called a Self
Tuning Regulator to emphasize that the
controller automatically tunes its parameters to
obtain the desired properties of the closed loop

Adaptive control problem

An adaptive control problem is
formulated by defining the following:
Description of the process
Possible controller structures and
Adaptation of controller parameters

Description of the

The process is usually described by linear Single-input Singleoutput (SISO) system.

In the continuous time domain, the process is represented in
state space as:
Transfer Function form as

Where, s is the Laplace Transform variable.

In discrete time, the process can be described in state space
form as:

The discrete time system can also be represented in transfer

function form as:
Where, z is the z-transform variable.

Controller Structures
The process is controlled by a
controller that has adjustable
Underlying design problem:
It is assumed that there exists some
kind of design procedure that makes it
possible to determine a controller that
satisfies some design criteria, if the
process and its environment are

The adaptive control problem is

used to find a method of adjusting the controller
when the characteristics of the process and its
environment are unknown or changing.
In direct adaptive control, the controller
parameters are changed directly without the
characteristics of the process and its disturbance
first being determined.
In indirect adaptive methods, the process model
and possibly the disturbance characteristics are
first determined.
The controller parameters are designed on the
basis of this information.

Adaptation (adjustment) of
controller parameters

Various techniques are available like

the MIT rule and Lyapunov technique
for the MRAS, MDPP
LQG for STR.
Based on the application and the
performance desired;
any of the techniques can be chosen.

Construction of an adaptive controller

contains the following steps:
Characterize the behavior of the
closed loop system
Determine a suitable control law with
adjustable parameters
Find a mechanism for adjusting the
Implement the control law

Applications of Adaptive

process control
ship steering
robotics and automotive
biomedical systems.